Mid-Amateur trophy to be displayed at Oakmont

Posted July 15, 2011 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact

The John Birmingham Trophy

The John Birmingham Trophy

The Association began the WPGA Mid-Amateur Championship in 1985, as did many other organizations shortly after the USGA began its Mid-Amateur in 1981. Former WPGA President, Fred Gibbons, Youghiogheny, won the WPGA inaugural. Started as an 18- hole competition, the Mid-Am was expanded to 36 holes in 1993. Multiple champions include John Jones, Sean Knapp, Frank Fuhrer, III, and Nathan Smith, Arnold Cutrell, and Marshall Marraccini.

A beautiful silver trophy was purchased from an English firm, then named for Oakmont's John Birmingham, the top amateur of the 1960's. The former Shadyside Academy and Duke University standout won three straight West Penn Amateurs, 1966-68 and two West Penn Opens, '64 & '72. He qualified for fifteen USGA Amateur championships, with a tenth place finish in the stroke play era being his best. He was deemed the Player of the 60's during the Association's centennial celebration, 1998-99.

Since the Birmingham family has a long history at Oakmont, the Association agreed to an Oakmont request to display the trophy at the club. Also housed there is the William C. Fownes trophy for the West Penn Amateur. Oakmont has built a fine trophy display area near the club entrance, so two of the Association's most significant trophies will have a great place for viewing.